The birth of a child brings a total upheaval to one’s life. From the moment of birth, to when they first open their eyes and smile, to the time they first head out a door on their own, they encompass your every waking, and most sleeping, moments.
The first time they fall asleep you can’t help checking on them every five minutes, followed quickly by the time they argue about not going to sleep, it is an ever changing influence on your life.
Gradually, at first, and then with ever increasing speed the transformation takes place. From the first independent steps, to the time they head off to school, to that first solo trip in a car, to their selecting a college, they go from total dependence, to total (well mostly) independence.
On the day of my daughter’s birth, at the moment she was only a few minutes old, the nurse took me along as she cleaned her up.
I stood absolutely useless, having no idea what to do.
The nurse, an experienced old hand at this, smiled and said “Talk to her, she knows your voice.”
So I bent down and said “Hi, Kelsey”
Eyes opened, she looked towards the sound of my voice.
The nurse laughed and said “works every time”
And so it has continued.
Every new stage bringing new joys, fears, hopes. There is no describing the pleasure of being part of her transformation from a child, needing guidance every step of the way, to an accomplished, articulate, thoughtful, and independent young woman who, more often than I care to admit, points me in the right direction.
So that which began some twenty-four years ago ends and a new stage begins.
She heads off on her own independent path in life.
We’ve done what we could to provide her with the opportunities.
She has taken advantage of these and made more of them than I could have ever imagined.
Someday, I know, she will be that initial guiding influence on another new life.
She will be a great one.
She will also know the bittersweet moment of recognizing the time for letting fully go has arrived.
I wouldn’t have missed this for the world.
But for now, we get to relax a bit, take some measure of satisfaction in a job well done, and see where this all leads.
For with my daughter Kelsey, in whom I am well pleased, the world is a better place.